Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 11/17/2013 3:54 PM EST
Crit, I'm just looking at the $32 mil we have to spend and seeing which players could this team add which would be most helpful in winning a championship again. This proposal is based on a couple of principles and developments:
1) The real issue is not just going over the cap and costing us dollars in that way. It's also not being able to get $25-$30 mil per team back if we stay under the cap. It's called revenue sharing. I don't think most of us are yet aware that the new CBA has implications in that regard. If we stay under the cap we don't just save ourselves money, we get money back in league revenue sharing of TV dollars and TShirt sales...etc and it's a sizeable amount of money per team now. It's not just money from the Yanks if they go over the cap. It's access to the huge pool of national TV money, mlb.com money, tshirt sales money...etc. The main implications of this are that we effectively have $32 mil to spend at most, per Alex Speir of WEEI:
2) It seems to me that the key to winning the world series, and even getting into and through the playoffs in general, is top starting pitching. A team also needs at least 2-3 solid relievers but that can often be cobbled together from guys in the minors or via mid season trades ...etc. But the key is top starting pitching. We all know that don't we? If you don't have great pitching you don't win in the playoffs. It's almost that simple and the key is to have at least 2 top pitchers and preferably up to 4 when the playoffs hit. And that probably takes more than 4 early in the year because by the time you get there some of them will be worn out, injured ...etc.
This is all particularly true in an era of increased parity between teams. There will be fewer perfect teams going forward, where the Yanks have an all star at every position because they can afford it. At least that is my theory. Teams have to scramble more now and develop more talent themselves. Maybe even get lucky once in a while and draft a Wacha type guy who becomes a stud overnight. The farm is probably more crucial now as player development might be the most likely way to get top young talent. The Redsox seem to be way ahead of this trend in that regard, especially in trying to develop their own top young pitching.
But once in a while key players become available via free agency or on the international market. Top mercenaries like Kuroda who can maybe be had by any team for $20 mil on a 1 year deal. He only cost $15 mil last year. Maybe that is $20 mil well spent if you want that top guy for the play offs. I don't think any reasonable person can look at Kuroda's numbers and not think of him as a top guy. He could clearly help us with at least 3-4 more wins next year as compared to Dempster or whoever is our #5 at this point. Even better, maybe we take a chance on the guy who might actually be the next Pedro in Tanaka. The guy was 24-0 last year. And he's 26 years old. Why not at least try for that guy? We have a solid base of talent. Why not put the cherry on top of that strawberry sunday?
It all came into my mind when I saw how much Cincinnati gave up when they traded for Matt Latos a couple years ago. They gave up a boatload of talent to get him. Without that top stud pitcher, most teams just don't stand a chance. Teams will trade their first born for that top starting pitcher. Most teams never get that guy because they can't develop him or trade for him or sign him via free agency. A one year deal at $20 mil is someone every team can afford and fit into their budget. And he has been consistently great.
A lot of starters, even top starters, have good years and bad years. A guy who consistently puts up great numbers is rare. To me there are 2 top pitchers potentially available this year and they are Tanaka and Kuroda. Ergo the priority of at least trying to get one of them. It puts us in a better position to win in the playoffs.